Ecole Normale Supérieure
Neural bases underlying the appraisal of others’ affective and intentional disposition toward the self
Abstract. The ability to appraise others’ affective and intentional disposition toward the self relies on the integration of salient visual social signals, such as the direction of their attention, their facial expressions and body gestures. The direction of body postures of surrounding agents for example indicates the direction of their impending intent, the meaning of which will critically vary according to whether one is the target or simply an observer. These contextual cues do strongly influence the way one process and react to other’s emotional expressions. We investigate how self-involvement influences emotional processing in the brain using fMRI and EEG and address i) how affective intentions are conveyed through whole-body actions in adults’ nonverbal social exchanges; ii) how one’s own affective skills impact on the perception of such affective intentions?; and iii) when and how whole-body communicative signals are integrated with other nonverbal communicative cues such as facial expressions and gaze direction.